has been under suspicion for a while as being responsible for many high profile
attacks, a lot of these attacks targeting the United States. China has denied
having anything to do with the attacks and also said it doesn’t have the means
to carry out such attacks.
Nation states wage warfare against each other from time to time. States such as
the USA, Iran, Russia, Israel, China and North Korea have all tried and
succeeded in causing disruption to the security network of various countries
and have gotten valuable information in the process.
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Countries who engage in cyber warfare do not openly admit it but China has
admitted that it has several cyber warfare divisions in a document known as The
Science of Military Strategy which was prepared by the People’s Liberation
Army. This document is published once in a generation and when it is published,
researchers pay attention to it. The last edition was published in 1999 and
this latest edition came out in 2013 but it has just made its way to western
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Joe McReynolds, an expert on Chinese military strategy at the Centre for
Intelligence Research and Analysis made it known that this was the first time
that there is an acknowledgement from China of the existence of a secret cyber
He also said that China has three categories of cyber warfare team, the first
is a specialized military cyber force, and it handles attack and defense. The
second group is spread within civilian organizations that are authorized to
carry out operations on behalf of the military, these are like China’s
equivalent to the FBI and the CIA. The last group is the external entities,
this group is basically anyone that knows their way around a computer, and they
are just like freelance hackers. According to McReynolds, all of these groups
are responsible for attacking American targets. Most read : Microsoft to Phase out Internet Explorer brand with Windows 10
An American private security firm Mandiant in 2013 published a detailed 60 page
report about a Chinese hacking group ‘Unit 61398’, this group was suspected of
waging cyber warfare against Americans from or near a 12 storey building,
located on the outskirts of Shangai.
This group also targeted government agencies and companies that had database
with detailed information about important infrastructure in the United States
such as transmission lines, pipelines and power generation facilities.
The United States also filed criminal charges against five Chinese military
officials last year, the officials are Sun Kailiang, Wang Dong, Wen Xinyu,
Huang Zhenyu and Gu Chunhui. The charges brought against them included hacking
and conducting cyber espionage against several American companies, stealing
trade secrets, stealing information about a nuclear power plant design and also
working with the hacking group ‘Unit 61398’.
With all these past accusations on China, an official admission makes all the
accusations valid and it plants a seed of doubt in the minds of countries doing
business with them.